Activities for active guy to do while recovering from hand surgery?
January 30, 2005 11:48 AM   Subscribe

My brother (in-law) is having surgery tomorrow on his hands to help with his Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. He's a roofer, a general contractor and also a rock-climber, so you can imagine how not having the use of his hands for up to six weeks is going to drive him crazy. They live nowhere near me, but I'd like to present him with a list of things that he could do while bed-ridden and beyond. Points for originality, and thanks.
posted by grimley to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
This isn't v. original, but if you're not a climber you might not know about these books. If he hasn't read them I'm sure he'd be interested in:

Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climberby Mark Twight.
This Game of Ghosts by Joe "Touching the Void" Simpson.
For some travel from the armchair, A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg or anything else by Tim Cahill.
posted by ArcAm at 12:20 PM on January 30, 2005

He could build up biking muscles so he can remain physically active and goal-driven while his hands heal. Later biking might be easier on his hands, and he could take up that sport for a while till he's confident his hands are up to climbing. You could even grab him a (probably free) bike map of the area so he's got something tangible to look forward to.

Other bed-friendly physical activities like crunches to build strength might work his mind and body, as would working on stretches & flexibility.
posted by lorrer at 12:28 PM on January 30, 2005

If he's going to need to keep his hands rested, he might want to look into kitting an iPod out with audio books.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:30 PM on January 30, 2005

So, will he be completely bed-ridden starting right after recovery? If he can get out of bed and can get a DVD player and has enough room to do it, learning tai chi? If bed-ridden, learning meditation?
Not knowing how much he could use his hands it's difficult to say more. lorrer's ideas sound great.
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:49 PM on January 30, 2005

Usually carpal tunnel syndrome is not done on both hands at once, if it is in this case I do feel bad for him. Nonetheless, realize that he won't stop being what he is. I'd do the anti-thesis here and buy him something he will use when he is healed. Perhaps being a more progressive, this ain't going to last, and you'll get through it thing.
posted by sled at 3:15 PM on January 30, 2005

He's not going to be bed-ridden at all. It's a simple day-surgery deal... a minor procedure. He'll be fine: groggy and numb-handed the first day, and have an achy bandaged hand (or two.. i hope not two, unless he's got someone to wipe his bum for him) the next day or five.

He'll wear a bandage for a week. He'll have pain pills. He'll have the use of his fingers within 36 hours.. limited by the bandage over his palm and wrist, so he can't do dishes. (bonus)

It would be highly unusual for both hands to be done at once... nearly unheard of.

He'll likely be told to quit swinging a hammer for a living. Vibration is what does the damage to the tendon sheath. The surgery is merely slicing the sheath that the tendon slides through.

Send him a good book? He's not going to be laid up at all, just incovenienced for a very short time. IF they really do the surgery on both hands at once, i hope he has slip-on shoes and clothing, and .. like i said.. someone to wipe his bum for a week until the bandages come off.
posted by reflecked at 2:25 AM on January 31, 2005

Response by poster: thanks for all of the tips. i believe that he is getting both done at the same time, but I will double-check. and getting him to stop making a living at it will be tough at best.
posted by grimley at 5:33 AM on January 31, 2005

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